Updates earlier posts here: ‘Sorry, Mr. Stiller … You’ve crossed the line’
And here: Once upon a time … There was a retard
With the August 13 release date for Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder” still more than a week away, plans for the upcoming DVD are already being shared on the Internet.
Disability rights organizations have confirmed that a meeting with DreamWorks executives has been set for 5 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday to discuss the film’s depiction of people with disabilities.
But the studio ad campaign and distribution machine is already moving forward at full throttle. As movie prints and DVDs are being readied for distribution, will the meeting come too late for any changes to be made?
Readers, please send your advice: What should the disability rights organizations be asking for? What will make you feel better about a movie that advises: “Never go full retard”? All comments will be forwarded.
A starting point:
Here are some of the many suggestions I’ve heard over the past few days:
- Paramount/Dreamworks should pull all references to the words “retard,” “imbecile,” “moron” and “idiot” from the movie, DVD, trailers, promotional material and merchandising;
- Paramount/DreamWorks should pull all scenes and clips that include Ben Stiller’s portrayal of “Simple Jack” from the movie, DVD, trailers, promotional material and merchandising;
- Ben Stiller, DreamWorks and Paramount should apologize;
- Paramount/DreamWorks should commit to employing people with intellectual and other disabilities, with specific hiring goals;
- Paramount/Dreamworks should commit to consulting people with disabilities during the development process about scripts that portray them ;
- Paramount/DreamWorks should fund an advocate on behalf of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry; and
- Paramount/DreamWorks should contribute to disability rights causes a set portion of the film’s profits.
I’ve also heard from people who say that discussion of the film is premature until it can be viewed, that the disability community should not draw attention to the film by discussing its use of the word “retard”, and that boycotts and demonstrations should be considered.
What do YOU think?